Everywhere you look there are gluten free products. You can find gluten free mustard, gluten free cinnamon rolls, and gluten free pastas. When you’re eliminating wheat and gluten from your diet, it’s tempting to load up on these options. Some of them taste pretty darned amazing. (Some aren’t so be prepared to experiment and take some risks.)

Here’s The Problem with Gluten Free

The problem with gluten free products is that they’re still heavily processed so you’re still getting a ton of sugar and high glycemic starchy carbs. The difference is that instead of wheat and sugar, you’re getting rice and sugar or potato and sugar.

If you simply swap processed foods with gluten for processed foods without gluten, you’re not going to experience the weight loss or blood sugar balance that you’ll get when you stop eating starchy carbs. They still cause inflammation, diabetes, fatigue and an assortment of aches and pains.

Make Them a Treat

When I first started transitioning to a gluten free diet, I allowed myself three treats a week. These treats could be anything from a sandwich with gluten free bread to waffles made with almond flour. After a few weeks of some pretty frequent “cheats” I scaled it back to two treats a week. Eventually I had only one treat a week and to be honest I REALLY looked forward to those Friday night treats.

Wheat and Gluten Free Options

The next question is, “What treats” are safe? How can you enjoy some baked goods without eating gluten? There are one for one gluten free flour mixes that you can purchase at specialty stores. They’re expensive but easy to use. They’re also packed with those high glycemic flours that can cause a whole host of problems.

Instead, explore the many varieties of flour substitutes made from healthy ingredients like nuts and seeds. When you use “flours” made from nuts and seeds it’s better for you. They’re no longer “treats” or “cheats.” They’re food.

Almond flour is the most common ground nut and it can be used to make a variety of tasty baked goods including decadent French Macarons. You can also use the following nuts and seeds to make homemade treats:

  • Ground pecans
  • Ground walnuts
  • Coconut flour
  • Ground golden flaxseed
  • Pumpkin seed meal
  • Sesame seed meal
  • Sunflower seed meal
  • Chia seed meal
  • Chickpea flour

In general, many wheat free recipes use a variety of ingredients to give the product a nice texture and flavor. For example, a wheat free pizza crust recipe might include, almond flour, organic golden flaxseed meal, chickpea flour, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, sea salt.

All of this may sound foreign, extreme, and completely overwhelming. Rest assured that once you start getting wheat and gluten out of your diet, you’re going to feel so great that you won’t be tempted. Oh, sure there’s a rough period where your body goes through a bit of a detox.

However, it’s short lived and when you are prepared for this withdrawal, you’ll breeze through it. Eating whole foods and getting rid of gluten changes your life. You won’t have cravings any longer. You’ll stay full and satisfied and you’ll have more energy than you know what to do with. Even more importantly, you’ll feel better and you’ll drop that weight.

Next time we’ll explore how to make the transition to a wheat free lifestyle as painless as possible.